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Recurring episodes of intense chest and shoulder pain, swallowing difficulty followed by cough with trembling. Family history of heart attacks. What could this be?

I am female, over 50, and experienced excrciating pain in my chest - left side - that peiced through and out the back of hte shoulder . I was severly nauseated, and it was like my throat was paralyzed. I absolutely could not swallow when I tried, and found breathing difficult. The pain lasted about 5 minutes, and about 5 minutes or less after that I developed a cough that sounded like I had Bronchitis . Approximately 15 mintues after that episode, it happend again. Samy symptoms. I felt shaky after both incidents. I have low blood pressure 80/60 on a good day and do suffer the esophagal muiscle spasms -- and this was nothing like them. They hurt a lot, but I can still swallow. I am assuming it must be a new variation on the exophagal muscle spasm, but the women in my family die young (50 5 and 60 s many of them) and there is a familty history of heart attacks. I cannot see that I could have such a thing happen when there have been no indicators, but am curious.
Asked On : Thu, 26 Jul 2012
Answers:  1 Views:  61
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Internal Medicine Specialist 's  Response
Dear friend, welcome to HCM.
I can understand your aprehension.
With history of oesophageal spasms and family history of heart attacks, it is prudent to get cardiac work up .
pl. get physical exam, ECG, 2D echo, Xray chest and sos cardiology consult,
both oesophageal and cardiac angina may be relieved by inhaled/ sublingual nitrates like sorbitrate. but with your low BP, that is dangerous to use.
so I would strongly suggest to seek medical help and get evaluated for both.
hope that guides you,
pl. take care and keep me posted.
Answered: Thu, 26 Jul 2012
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